The amount it costs to comfortably heat our homes has long been a bone of contention among us, with many in fuel poverty and many older people afraid to turn on their heating in case they can't afford the resulting bills.

Here we offer 10 small things you can do to make life a little bit easy and those heating bills a little more affordable.

1. Turning your thermostat down by 1°C can save you as much a £55 per year.

2. Keeping your radiator on a low heat when you're not using it can be more efficient than turning it off then turning back on when you need it.

3. Shutting doors and windows properly, making sure they don't have gaps around them, using draught exluders and drawing curtains can all help stop heating being wasted.

4. Get an eco-shower that uses much less hot water than a standard shower. Eco doesn't mean sacrificing power.

5. Block up your chimney if you have one you are not using. An open chimney leads straight out to the outdoors and can be a huge cause of heat loss. If you don't make use of an open fire, then get someone in to block it up and keep that heat inside where it belongs.

6. Use duel fuel radiators and towel rails. This means they can be run via the normal hot water central heating system, or they can run independently via the electrics without the need to use the rest of the central heating.

7. Install a room thermostat and thermostatic radiator valves. Research shows that using these two heating controls can reduce your bills by as much as 40%.

8. Insulate the attic door or hatch. Heat rises and a huge amount can disappear up into the attic and the out of the roof. Simply insulating the loft access (and the rest of the attic) can keep more heat in your house where you need it. It's estimated a well-insulated loft can save a 3 bedroom house up to £140 per year on heating bills.

9. Similarly, cavity wall insulation is a great help in stopping heat escaping through walls. Research suggests a 3 bedroom house with cavity wall insulation can save up to £160 per year on heating bills. Many of the big energy providers offer free insulation so it's worth checking to see if you're eligible.

10. Use a radiator shelf about the radiator as this will direct heat into the room. Likewise, where possible, try not to block radiators with furniture as heat will not be able to penetrate the rest of the room. If you have limited wall space, think about installing vertical radiators.

Article by Benjamin Clarke

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